What to Wear to Swing Dance for Beginners



What to Wear to Swing Dance

This post may contain affiliate links from Amazon and other third parties. This does not change your price.

People tend to picture men wearing bright suits and women wearing poodle skirts when they think of swing dancing. 

However, swing dance does not typically have a firm dress code.

The primary consideration is your comfort. 

Swing dancing involves a lot of flips, kicks, and spins. 

Wearing certain types of shoes or clothing may restrict your movement or increase the risk of an accident.

Here are a few tips to help you select the proper attire for swing dancing.

1. Avoid Wearing High Heels

High heels force your weight forward on the toes, which can lead to increased foot pain and discomfort, especially after a long dance session. 

Choosing a higher heel also minimizes control over the placement of your feet when twirling or spinning.

Wear flat soles to avoid falling during swift movements. However, you should avoid wearing sandals or slippers. 

You do not want your partner to crush your feet accidentally. 

If you must wear heels, choose a medium heel with a thick base.

2. Wear Leather Soles 

Men and women should look for shoes with leather soles. 

Leather soles provide the right balance of grip and slip. 

You can gracefully glide across the floor with leather soles. 

Suede and imitation leather are suitable but more likely to be worn when swing dancing. 

Rubber soles do not slide on the dance floor as smoothly, limiting your ability to spin and turn easily. 

You may also scuff up the flooring. 

Another option is to glue suede to the bottom of your rubber-soled shoes as a temporary fix until you can buy a suitable pair.

3. Dress Casual for Dance Lessons

Keep your attire casual when attending dance lessons or outdoor dances, especially during warmer weather. 

For the most part, you should wear whatever you feel comfortable wearing. 

You can wear jeans (this is a popular choice), shorts, T-shirts, and other items that may not be suitable for a dance hall.

The main things to avoid include clothes that are too loose, tight, or distracting. 

For example, brightly colored athletic wear may keep you cool on a warm day, but it can also distract the other dancers. 

4. Dress up for Evening Dances

When you head out for an evening dance or a dance competition, you should dress up. 

Some dance halls may even have a few requirements, such as not wearing jeans and requiring men to wear shirts with collars. 

While people associate swing dance with twirly skirts and zoot suits, you do not need to wear vintage clothing. 

Many of the styles of clothes worn during the height of the swing are not ideal choices. 

The fabrics were often less breathable. 

Wear comfortable, breathable clothing. 

Avoid anything restricting your movements, such as a form-fitting shirt or tight pants. 

A popular look for women is a short-sleeved blouse with a cotton skirt. 

Men often wear dress slacks with white shirts or collared dress shirts.

In the end, you should not fret too much about what to wear for swing dancing. 

The goal is to have fun and cut loose.

However, your attire should match the scene. 

Dress casually for lessons and dress up for formal occasions. 

Ladies Black and White Oxford Swing Dance Shoes

If you’re looking for a shoe that will last, oxfords are the best way to go.

These are regular street shoes, but they can be used for swing dancing.

These shoes offer more flexibility than any other type of formal footwear and come in all sorts of shapes, colors, and styles.

Different types include low-cut lace-up silhouettes rendered from crisp fox suede with classic wingtip Oxfords.

These shoes are perfect for pairing with elegant but casual looks like head-to-toe black or white outfits.

In the past, oxfords were plain and formal shoes.

Made of leather, it evolved into a range of styles for both casual and formal wear.

The materials used to make these shoes varied based on function and fashion dictates as well!


As you can see, Swing dancing is a lot of fun and can be done by people of all ages and abilities.

To ensure you have the best dance experience, it’s important to dress comfortably for this type of dancing so that you’re not restricted in your movements.

Frequently Asked Questions

What shoes do you wear for swing dancing?

Any comfortable and flexible shoes with a low heel are suitable for swing dancing.

Can you swing dance in jeans?

Yes, you can swing dance in jeans.

Can you swing dance in a long dress?

Yes, you can swing dance in a long dress.

About the author

Latest Posts